Polls of voters consistently show that Americans place global warming (sometimes framed more generally as environmental concerns) at or near the bottom of their list of priorities. Most of the top concerns are almost always directly related to the economy.
Yet, there were approximately 125,000 people who turned out for the People’s Climate March in New York City. Why aren’t there even more people marching against the poor economy and unemployment, since those are the biggest concerns?
In a way, that really is what they were marching against. Mostly. Let me explain.
First, people really can’t get worked up over weather changes that they haven’t experienced themselves. With most Americans routinely dealing with temperature changes of 50 deg. F or more, they really don’t care much if the average changes by 1 deg. F. With the 18-year hiatus, most teenagers today haven’t even experienced global warming. We should also remember that people prefer warmth over cold. For example, over their lifetimes Americans preferentially move to where it’s warmer.
Second, when it comes to the environment, people have been warned by “scientists” of catastrophe for decades. Many of us were supposed to die long ago from heat, floods, storms, crop failure, etc. It didn’t happen. Global warming fatigue has been brewing for years, and is now firmly entrenched. Google Trends reveals that over the last 10 years, Google searches on “climate” have steadily decreased to about 50% of what they were, whereas interest in “weather” has increased by about 50%.
Next, those of us old enough to remember driving through Gary, Indiana in the 1960s and early 70s know how much cleaner our air and water are today. Smaller gains in “cleanliness” come at greater and greater cost now (although the EPA, which wants everything to be infinitely clean, does not seem to care about that). Unlike government bureaucrats, who get routine pay raises and job security no matter how much they hurt the business (our country), the people who actually pay the bills (taxpayers) still live in a cost-vs-benefits world.
Furthermore, most people understand that fossil fuels have been necessary for the prosperity that we all enjoy (at least those under political systems allowing people to benefit from their labors). Energy which currently is dominated by fossil fuels, and will be for decades to come.
Speaking of which, how’s this for a hockey stick?:
I think getting an extra 40 years of life in exchange for 1 to 2 deg. of warming is a pretty good deal. Might even be a win-win.So, do we really think that the People’s Climate March (which led up to the U.N. Climate Summit 2014) really was about climate?
There is considerable evidence that the People’s Climate March wasn’t as much about climate as it was an excuse for those who want a different political system. If you really believe that capitalism is destroying the Earth and hurting people — or even if you don’t really believe it — then environmentalism becomes a really good excuse to dump capitalism.
Especially if you can convince people you have some new and unusual statistical knowledge (photos courtesy of Zombie at PJMedia.com):
The march was an excuse for those who are perpetually angry that the top 50% have so much more than the bottom 50%. Arguably, the environmental movement has been hijacked by anti-capitalists who think everyone can live in peace, harmony, and prosperity without anyone having to work hard.
As the Soviets found out, very few people want to “work hard”…unless they are rewarded. Here comes capitalism! You are rewarded in proportion to how much you provide to others. And the age of abundance requires access to affordable, abundant energy.
I often point out that the one-percenters already give back much more than they get. And we all (including Occupy Wall Street-ers) happily make that happen when we voluntarily exchange our money for iPhones, TVs, cars, microwaves, etc. Even our health insurance. We kick in a few extra percent for those entrepreneurs, risk-takers, and experts-in-their-field as our way of saying, “thanks for all the cool stuff, and for our kids actually living to be teenagers!”
Of course, in order for the risk-takers to try a new business enterprise (most of which fail), they have to have some hope they will get rewarded if they succeed. That’s why you can’t just keep taxing the rich more and more. For every rich person, there were ten or more who failed at meeting the needs of society on a grand scale.
Increasingly, government policies in general (both federal and state) are anti-business. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Geez. And that discourages those who have the money to spare from investing it into new business, or hiring more people. They then take their business out-of-state, or out of the country. Or, they give up and retire.
Meanwhile, protesters think all we have to do is spread the wealth around. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Kind of like your parents raising your allowance…only now you and your friends are old enough to vote on getting your allowance raised. Cool!
So, this explains why the People’s Climate March was dominated by crazies and political leftists. The mainstream media mostly avoided coverage of the event. Maybe they realized how embarrassing the march would be for the more rational elements of the environmental movement.
This article appeared on Dr. Spencer’s weblog at http://www.drroyspencer.com/